Raging Rayane and a good natured kid trying to help

Danilith Nokere Koerse

Rayane Bouhani (in red) lying in the middle of the  road as the race takes off around him

There were crashes in the closing stages of the Nokere Koerse, but the worst came with about 10km left to race.

It certainly looked bad. A lapse in concentration from a Bora rider sent him to the ground, followed by a dozen others who were flung in all directions. Most of whom landed badly, and upside down.

That included the raging Rayane Bouhani of Cofidis, lying in the road, furious, flapping his hands in pain, and kicking out at riders who had the nerve to ride around him.

The boy in the blue with his mum as Rouhani lets off some steam

It’s never good for kids to see grown-ups at their most vulnerable. In this case Bouhani was hurt and watching the race speed off up the road without him. Seeing his helmet on the floor Bouhani he instinctively kicked it as hard as he could, sending it flying in the general direction of Milan-Sanremo, (until it hit someone’s front door), and straight past a young boy watching the race with his mum.

The kid did what any good-natured ten-year-old  boy would do when adults are close to tears – he tried to help. So he figured the best way to do that was to go get  Bouhani’s helmet, and then wait by the side of the road to give it back to him, if it would help. Bouhani though, cursing and hobbling, was already on his way to the team car.

Rayane Rouhani hobbles into the Cofidis team car and out of the race

The boy looked on as riders were patched up or pushed back on their way. He clutched his mum with one hand, and Bouhani’s helmet with the other, until a grateful Cofidis DS came to collect it before dashing back to the car.

That left the kid, and his mum, to find somewhere a little less expletive-ridden to watch the end of the race, and Bouhani’s brother Nacer go on to win the stage.

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